Now that Deadpool 2 is out in the world, fans who've seen it are gleefully picking apart its many plot points, Easter eggs, and references, and the makers of the film are getting in on the fun as well. After months of keeping secrets, star Ryan Reynolds (who also co-wrote and produced the film) can finally discuss the thought process behind each little joke and story decision, including why some characters got a reprieve while other characters met their end.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Deadpool 2.
Deadpool 2 was always going to be a bloodbath, and it was always going to be packed with a mix of serious and silly death scenes, but even hardcore fans of the character and the original film's gore probably weren't expecting quite what we got. This is a film that kicks off with Deadpool trying to blow himself to bits, a montage of his various hit jobs, and the devastating death of his fiancee Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) before getting into the real meat of its plot. Then, just when you think it's going in a certain direction with the formation of X-Force, it swerves, and everyone on the team dies with the exception of the supernaturally lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz).
Those deaths include Peter (Rob Delaney), the lovable everyman in khakis who joined X-Force just because he saw the ad and thought it might be an interesting gig, despite having no superpowers. The film's marketing made Peter a fan-favorite even before the film hit theaters, and the film itself established that he was a favorite of Deadpool's too, so much so that he joined Vanessa on the short list of people Wade Wilson saved when he got Cable's time-travel device working again. After making sure the love of his life was OK, Wade went back to the site of that disastrous X-Force skydiving incident, ignored Shatterstar, Bedlam, Zeitgest, and The Vanisher, and went straight for his sugar bear. Peter got a second chance at life, and now Reynolds has explained why he was the sole deceased X-Force member to be rescued.
On a new episode of The Empire Film Podcast, Reynolds dug into the writing of the film's mid-credits sequence, explaining why he initially thought of them as "cheating" after killing Vanessa off so early in the film. By the time it was clear that the film would press forward with the rescue idea, though, Peter joined Vanessa in being saved, mostly because the team just loved Peter.
“I love that he just completely ignores this marquee cast that he could’ve saved of useful and wonderful superheroes,” Reynolds said, “but instead went back and saved [Peter]."
So, why go back for Peter but leave, say, Shatterstar or Bedlam dead? As Reynolds explained, for one thing it's just funny, but there's also story logic to it based on the notion that Peter was terrified to make the jump from the helicopter in the first place.
“Well, here’s the thing, though: I always felt that it was important to save Peter just because in the helicopter before we jump out skydiving, I say to him, ‘I’d never let anything happen to you, sugar bear. I’m just saying this to impress the other guys. Laird, hit it!’ And we all jump out of the thing," Reynolds said.
“So I felt like that was a promise that Wade made early on in the movie, and it was nagging him, so he went back and got Peter.”
And so it was that Peter survived and he and his beautiful mustache went back out into the world, where they could potentially cameo in a sequel. It's a nice moment, made funnier and stranger by the fact that the rest of what Reynolds dubbed "fake X-Force remains" dead, something the budget of the next film will probably benefit from.
“We can’t afford half the other guys, to bring them back," Reynolds joked. "No, they have to remain dead. One in particular would be very expensive.”